Burial rites begin, shops closed
Benin Traditional Council has formally announced the transition of the 38th Oba of Benin Kingdom, Omo n’Oba Erediauwa Akpolokpolo.
The Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, in company of other traditional chiefs and Enigie (dukes), broke the native white chalk at the entrance of the palace in Benin, the Edo State capital, which traditionally symbolises the passing on of the monarch to his ancestors.
Following the breaking of the native chalk at the main entrance of the palace, all the chiefs and Enigie broke down in tears and wail for the transited Monarch.
The Iyase said, “Osorhue Bunrun, Oba Erediauwa of Benin Kingdom, the Prince of Peace, Ebo, Ayemwirhe, (cmini mini mini), has returned to be with his ancestors. May he find perfect peace with God.”
In line with tradition, shops and other commercial activities were shut down as sign of respect for the late monarch.
Also in accordance with tradition, every male in the kingdom is expected to shave his head throughout the mourning period that may last up to three months, while all markets in the kingdom are to remain closed for seven days.
Born in 1923, the traditional ruler of Benin Kingdom was reported to have been battling with an unknown illness, which started since 2015.
Meanwhile, the Edo State government has joined sons and daughters of the kingdom to mourn the departed monarch.
A release from the government house reads in part, “Our hearts are heavy, laden with pains and grief at the announcement of the passing on to glory of Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa of Benin, our highly revered Oba, a distinguished Edo numero uno, an accomplished Nigerian, a seasoned bureaucrat, quintessential unifier, unique personage and exemplary Omo N’Oba, whose reign brought distinction, immense class, finesse and integrity to traditional institution in Edo state and the country at large.
“We are enveloped with a deep sense of nostalgia that our great Oba, a great-grandfather, grandfather, father, uncle and iconoclastic royal father of exemplary carriage and conduct, who sustained the dignity of the average Edo mind, has joined his ancestors.
“We are, however, encouraged by the fact that another great son of the Great Benin Kingdom, Edaiken N’Uselu, Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, who is already showing manifest quintessential attributes of his great father, will step into his father’s big shoes.
“Edo people will miss our iconoclastic royal father of the great Benin Kingdom. Nigerians and Nigeria will miss this great exemplar of a Royal Father, an Oba of distinction and integrity. Adieu until we meet to part no more. Oba gha to kpere, ise.”